Not too long ago, Shockrave acquired an XBox 360. I only had about a day or two with it, but I can say I was quite thoroughly satisfied with the XBox 360. :D (Surprisingly, although I have nothing against the XBox 360, I can't exactly say the same of the lack of games for it at this point in time - and without it running Linux to tide me over, I have no interest whatsoever in acquiring one myself. I'll stick with my XBox. :D) Most people who read this blog I believe, already know what the hell an XBox 360 looks like, so I ain't gonna go put tons of photos of the XBox 360 itself.
The big cable is the AV cable. I'm quite sure you might be able to find a thinner one, but I find the idea of having a composite and component AV cable in one a rather wise decision on Microsoft's part. The ring of light is obviously working, and since I only had one controller, only that quadrant lighted up. The disc drive photo, which regretfully didn't turn out, would show you, one of my gripes with the drive. Somehow, putting the disc in when it is upright doesn't feel quite as secure as with the PS2. Too many times I have held that disc there out of fear of it falling out. I don't think it actually is a problem, but it didn't feel safe to leave my disc in that position for too long.
We move on to the... controller!
I loved the XBox controller. It was just so damn right for FPS control. I have no idea why. Having it wireless? Excellent. That is, until I loaded up my copy of Halo 2, and found the XBox 360 controller didn't quite cut it. It's what I would call a step backwards. The analong sticks didn't have the right feel to it. They felt quite terribly inferior to my XBox controller. It felt like the loss of a limb trying to play Halo 2 with the controller. It didn't feel so smooth. I'd say it felt a little stickier than I would like in my analog sticks. Then I have a gripe I had already noticed the moment they unveiled the wireless controller. I have a PS2 controller that had a little something sticking out the back before. Guess where that ended up?
I particularly hate things being put where I usually put my fingers. Having it jut out at the back like that it absolutely painful. (both literally and philosophically) Being me, I'd probably go take up a wired controller thank you very much. Or hey - if only I could use my XBox one.
Everybody knows what the XBox 360 HDD looks like.
It's easy to install and remove (by my standards). Only has one connector - and it seems of an OK strength, although having it poke out during transport might not be one of it's strong points. My only complaint? 20GBs doesn't hold much. It holds like... err... maybe 20 XBox 360 game demos. Maybe. All I know is that I managed to use most of it in a day. Don't ask me how. I most certainly want a larger HDD - and I think so do most gamers. I'm assuming at some point Microsoft will release these in different sizes, but we kinda need them like.. err... NOW. (I know you can probably change the thing in the case yourself or something. Maybe. Not sure - didn't bother checking like the ignorant consumer I am pretending to be.)
Shockrave also acquired a XBox Live Gold 12-month pack, so I had an XBox live headset here to try too. Pity it doesn't work as headphones too, but it serves its purpose. handy, connects to the wireless controller. How can you complain about that?
I'm quite sure you've heard this somewhere before - the AC adapter is huge, it's heavy - bla bla bla.... (and hot) Whatever it is, I found the XBox 360's exhaust air more likely to ignite stuff than the AC adapter so I find it justified that they decided this piece shouldn't go in the XBox. If it were inside, we'd be hearing houses burning down because of the XBox 360 a lot earlier than the Wii's controller's flying antics. How is it Nintendo could've missed that I wonder? Wouldn't they have tested it with children? Apparently there must be quite a number of adult idiots who have less common sense than children.
Anyway, back to the topic - the XBox 360 itself runs pretty hot - the AC adapter runs hot too, but the exhaust from the XBox 360 is hotter - I even moved a box of two because I was afraid it was going to start a fire from my cardboard boxes. Heat isn't a problem since you'll be far far away from the console - and I suppose it running hot is itself a cost due to the relatively low operating noise. Design is nice, I think if I had a little more time and had it been my own console, you would've seen the insides of the console too. Chances are those photos are already around the net since I took forever to get hold of a XBox 360 unit to photograph, but I don't care. This is Random Ideas after all, not IGN.
I couldn't get any photos of the dashboard, but it is good, easy to navigate. Functionally speaking I would call it exactly the same as the Sony's XMB (Cross Media Bar), so that's most certainly easy to use. I didn't have any problems connecting it to the Internet, although I think maybe a better wizard style interface is called for.
The XBox Live Marketplace is full of demos. XBox Live Arcade is full of demos. The marketing potential is grand - although I did run into trouble trying to log in with my GamerTag for some odd reason. I think the server was down or something - oh well. I got to play Kameo and COD2 on it, but I'd have to say I liked the demos a lot more. Demos of Full Auto, N3, NFS Carbon, DOA4 were more than enough to keep me entertained for hours. I, of course, didn't have any MS Points to spend, but the free games Hexic and Bankshot Billiards were good. If I had any MS Points, I'd probably be happily spending them in the Arcade on Geometry Wars and probably lots of other stuff.
Overall, I find the XBox 360 pretty cool. Probably would've have been cooler if I had a Media Center PC to use this remote with.
The console itself and the XBox Live Marketplace are excellent and have been executed well. I'm quite sure backward compatibility is being worked on, and the graphics upscaling are also excellent. If only it had games I actually wanted to play and would actually justify the AUD500 investment. Oh well.